Reliever Andrew Chafin was acquired by the Athletics from the Chicago Cubs in the midst of the MLB trade deadline frenzy. One of Oakland’s main goals was to obtain more bullpen help to bolster their roster heading towards the playoffs.
Chafin’s 2.06 ERA with 27 strikeouts in 39 ½ innings, and the mix of Cubs being hardcore sellers, certainly fit that criteria. While he’s excited for his new opportunity with the A’s, he admitted the logistics were frustrating at times.
“It’s never fun picking up your whole life and basically moving to the complete other side of the country,” Chafin told NBC Sports California’s Brodie Brazil. “My family had to go home just because obviously, I don’t have things lined up in Oakland yet, so the off-the-field things it’s more or less a huge pain in the ass, but it’s also really exciting moving to a team in contention. Having the potential for the opportunity for a big playoff push and make something special happen.”
The A’s hold on to the second-place spot in the AL West with a 59-46 record. The team also brought on outfielder Starling Marte from the Miami Marlins and veteran catcher Yan Gomes and utility man Josh Harrison from the Washington Nationals.
Chafin appreciated being part of the impressive haul.
“Oh yeah, definitely,” Chafin said. “We have a lot of guys coming in now.”
As far as what Chafin brings to the table, he did have quite the workload this season with the Cubs, but he was able to handle it.
“In an ideal world, I’ll just pitch every other game all season and then not throw in between and that would be awesome,” Chafin said. “Obviously it didn’t work out that good, but historically I’ve thrown in as many games as possible and I guess that kind of works for me.”
Chafin’s sinker ended up being his saving grace this season. He throws that pitch 45.8 percent of the time.
“I can more or less throw it down the middle, let it sink, and I know it’ll hit a groundball, it’s a quick, easy out," he said.
Batters also aren’t hitting the ball hard off of him this season, and his K/9 ratio has never been better across his 10-year career. Chafin admitted he didn’t realize how much he has actually been throwing the pitch, but said he feels confident throwing that pitch in any situation he’s in.
And personality-wise? Well, he’s going to blend in with the laidback A’s wonderfully.
“You got to have fun with everything on a day-to-day basis or this season or this lifestyle will just tear you to pieces,” Chafin said.